Biting its thumb at social norms English Wine Week is, brilliantly, nine days long and starts Saturday. As such, we've been bending the ear, patience and cork-popping skills of our very favourite rising Somm — Abigail Connolly. Here are the patriotic drops you'll find in Cheval Blanc in honour of this calendarally flexible knees up.
Abi says: "Aaaah — it's so delicious. And pretty unusual — only a couple of English producers are using Pinot Noir to make white, which they do by macerating the white grapes and none of the red skin. The stone fruits really come through, and it's got great oak."
Try if you like: Village burgundies
Eat with: A rich fish or chicken dish to complement the yeasty, buttery notes.
Abi says: "Made using the Champagne method, Hattingley Valley attracts the weather and soil conditions of the Chablis and Champers regions, providing good acidity and a bit of age. Great value for the quality compared to the big names."
Try if you like: A young Veuve Clicquot
Eat with: A light fish dish, like cured salmon, or as a summery aperitif.
Abi says: "When I visited Camel Valley's vineyard in Cornwall, there were a lot of very good wines but the rosé really stood out. I'm not the biggest rosé drinker but with lots of fruit going on, this is what I go for when I do drink pink."
Try if you like: Sancerre rosé
Eat with: Beetroot and feta salad. The acidity will work well with the tartness and slight sweetness of the beets.
Abi says: "Litmus is really pushing boundaries — this is the first orange wine I've come across from a UK producer. And here the Bacchus grape retains all its natural grassy notes whilst the slight oxidation and oak ageing adds subtle tannins and nuttiness."
Try if you like: to experiment
Eat with: Aged cheese, cured meats, or some subtle spicy dishes.
Abi says: "Produced about an hour from Brum, on a sheltered Worcestershire hillside, Sixteen Ridges' early Pinot Noir is the best example of English red I can find, and a great intro. It's light bodied, with cherry, raspberry and earthy vanilla notes to both aroma and palate."
Try if you like: A typical Loire Valley red
Eat with: A light pork dish. Or white meat with a rich, strong sauce.
All wines featured are available by the glass and the bottle while them stocks do last.
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